Article Alerts in Discard Studies (June-July 2016)

Since discard studies doesn’t (yet!) have its own journal, conference, or department, Discard Studies publishes a regular table of contents alerts for articles, reports, and books in the field. If you are interested in becoming an editor for non-English article alerts on Discard Studies, or know of a recent article for the next article alert, please contact Max Liboiron:

These are the most recent publications for June and July, 2016:

forever prismaIlhan, Mustafa. (2016). Transforming Trash as an Artistic Act. MFA Thesis, İhsan Doğramaci Bi̇lkent University, Ankara.
The purpose of this study is to discuss usage of trash in the context of art. This thesis questions the role of art in the transformation of discarded items through the approaches and methods of artists who use discarded materials in their works. It examines why and how artists use discarded materials and how their artworks can be understood regarding theoretical and cultural aspects. This study is supported by theoretical and philosophical ideas about garbage.

Colin McFarlane and Jonathan Silver. (2016). The Poolitical City: “Seeing Sanitation” and Making the Urban Political in Cape Town. Antipode. DOI: 10.1111/anti.12264
In an urbanizing world, the inequalities of infrastructure are increasingly politicized in ways that reconstitute the urban political. A key site here is the politicization of human waste. The centrality of sanitation to urban life means that its politicization is always more than just service delivery. It is vital to the production of the urban political itself. The ways in which sanitation is seen by different actors is a basis for understanding its relation to the political. We chart Cape Town’s contemporary sanitation syndrome, its condition of crisis, and the remarkable politicization of toilets and human waste in the city’s townships and informal settlements in recent years. We identify four tactics—poolitical tactics—that politicize not just sanitation but Cape Town itself: poo protests, auditing, sabotage, and blockages. We evaluate these tactics, consider what is at stake, and chart possibilities for a more just urban future.

Pratt, G., Johnston, C., Banta, V. (2016). Lifetimes of Disposability and Surplus Entrepreneurs in Bagong Barrio, Manila. Antipode. 10.1111/anti.12249
Working in collaboration with Migrante International and drawing on testimony of residents in the remittance-dependent, migrant-sending community of Bagong Barrio in Caloocan City in Metro Manila, Philippines, we examine the systematic production of lifetimes of disposability that drives labour migration across the generations. The closure of factories and contractualisation of work in the 1980s created the conditions in which labour migration is not a choice but a necessity. Diligent use of remittances to pay for the education of their children in many cases has produced a new generation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and investment in housing often is another route to OFW status. Alongside this narrative of ongoing precarity, we listen closely to the testimony of residents for ways of living that are both subsumed within and somewhat excessive to accounts that might render their lives as merely waste or wasted.

Sandlos, J., & Keeling, A. (2016). Toxic Legacies, Slow Violence, and Environmental Injustice at Giant Mine, Northwest Territories. Northern Review, (42).
For fifty years (1949–99) the now-abandoned Giant Mine in Yellowknife emitted arsenic air and water pollution into the surrounding environment. Arsenic pollution from Giant Mine had particularly acute health impacts on the nearby Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), who were reliant on local lakes, rivers, and streams for their drinking water, in addition to frequent use of local berries, garden produce, and medicine plants. Currently, the Canadian government is undertaking a remediation project at Giant Mine to clean up contaminated soils and tailings on the surface and contain 237,000 tonnes of arsenic dust that are stored underground at the Giant Mine. Using documentary sources and statements of Yellowknives Dene members before various public hearings on the arsenic issue, this paper examines the history of arsenic pollution at Giant Mine as a form of “slow violence,” a concept that reconfigures the arsenic issue not simply as a technical problem, but as a historical agent of colonial dispossession that alienated an Indigenous group from their traditional territory. The long-term storage of arsenic at the former mine site means the effects of this slow violence are not merely historical, but extend to the potentially far distant future.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 7.02.16 AMSavers. (2016). The State of Reuse Report. TVI, Inc. d/b/a Savers/ Value Village.
Savers, also known in Canada and parts of the U.S. as Value Village, conducted the online survey in April of this year. A total of 3,094 respondents (1,634 in the U.S. and 1,463 in Canada) weighed-in on how and why they donate their reusable household and personal goods.